The cost of importing oil, gas and coal fell sharply in 2020

Austria’s expenditure on the import of fossil fuels oil, gas and coal fell significantly in 2020, from 11.2 billion to 7.4 billion euros. This emerges from the analysis of Statistics Austria data by the Austrian Energy Agency. The lion’s share was accounted for by oil, with the value of imports falling from EUR 7.9 billion to EUR 4.9 billion as a result of the lower oil price. A decrease from 2.6 billion to 2.0 billion euros was registered for gas.

According to the Energy Agency, the lower expenditure on fossil imports can primarily be explained by the fact that 13 percent less oil was imported than in 2019 (excluding oil products) and that the import price was around 40 euros per barrel, 34 percent lower on average. The value of imported oil was 42 percent (or 1.6 billion euros) below the level of 2019, if the corresponding oil export values ​​for the two years are subtracted from the import values.

With a minus of 33 percent, the import price of natural gas fell in 2020 in line with crude oil. However, imports increased by 16 percent, with a substantial part of these additional imports being exported – the value of these gas exports remained roughly the same at 0.4 billion euros, while those of oil exports rose from 1.9 billion to 1.3 billion euros. went back. The higher gas imports were partially offset by the lower gas price, the Austrian Energy Agency said on Monday. This resulted in a decrease of 22 percent in value, in absolute terms this meant a minus of EUR 550 million.

A look at the past few years of course also shows the risk and extent of price increases for fossil energies, says managing director Peter Traupmann. For example, the value of imported crude oil was roughly twice as high in 2014 as in 2020, with approximately the same quantities, i.e. around 80 dollars per barrel instead of around 40 dollars / barrel from the previous year. And that, although 40 percent less natural gas was imported in 2014 than in 2020, spending at that time was 30 percent higher.

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